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ERIC Number: EJ1195373
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Reclaiming Racial Justice in Equity
Bensimon, Estela Mara
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v50 n3-4 p95-98 2018
Equity, once viewed as racially divisive and associated with activism within social justice movements that academic purists disdained as advocacy work, is now being embraced on the academic scene. The author questions whether this embrace of equity signifies an embrace of its critical and anti-racist foundations or whether the proliferation of this term instead represents the appropriation and dilution of equity? She suggests that the racial justice project represented by the term equity faces two threats. One is the total omission of race and whiteness in national higher education reforms that endeavor to move the college completion needle higher--towards some definition of success that is defined primarily by graduation rates. The second is the co-optation of equity and the erosion of its racial justice agenda. She notes that equity-mindedness does not come naturally. It requires a knowledge base, and it takes a lot of practice. Generally, practitioners and leaders lack the knowledge to notice who, by race and ethnicity, benefits from opportunity structures and who loses out. There is limited awareness of how race and racism are expressed through language; or how race is implicated in curricular choices; or in the ordinary routines in an assessment center or student orientation; or in what data are made public and what data are suppressed. The author wants to reclaim the word equity. Equity has a very strong and distinct meaning rooted in achieving racial proportionality in all educational outcomes and in critically assessing whiteness at the institutional and practice levels. It is about acknowledging and addressing racism within educational systems.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A